Delaware state rep abruptly resigns amid reports of shoplifting arrest, cites PTSD

A prominent Delaware lawmaker has resigned in light of a recent shoplifting arrest in New Jersey.

According to the Washington Times, Democratic state Rep. Gerald Brady did not address any legal troubles in his resignation announcement this week.

Arrest news caps off scandal-plagued career

Instead, he referenced personal health issues as the reason for his abrupt exit from office.

Brady, 65, surrendered to authorities on Tuesday in accordance with an arrest warrant out of New Jersey. He is accused of two shoplifting-related crimes at a New Jersey grocery story.

As he indicated in his statement this week, the lawmaker will step down effective Feb. 4.

He was already under fire for an incident last year in which he was apparently caught uttering racist and sexist slurs against Chinese sex workers in an email he inadvertently sent. That scandal led to calls for him to resign.

As the Delaware News Journal reported, Brady is accused of leaving an Acme supermarket on Jan. 12 with a cart full of stolen goods. When confronted by an employee, authorities say he abandoned the cart and left the store.

“A political decision, not a legal one”

The supermarket employee reportedly recognized Brady from a previously unreported incident about two weeks earlier in which the politician allegedly filled reusable bags with goods from the same store and left without paying. Specifically, the worker apparently noted the personalized government license plate and was able to describe it to police, who then issued an arrest warrant.

Without directly acknowledging his recent scandals, Brady referenced his struggle with post-traumatic stress triggered by his Middle East deployments as part of the Delaware National Guard.

In his statement, he noted that the disorder “can be punctuated by episodes or conduct that may make little sense to people who do not understand the nature of PTSD.”

As WHYY noted, the exiting lawmaker cited “personal and professional challenges or other trauma” as exacerbating factors, adding: “Recognizing the severity of this situation, I am taking steps to address these issues directly.”

Brady faces two misdemeanor shoplifting charges and the amount allegedly stolen amounted to less than $200 in value. His attorney reiterated that his resignation “is a political decision, not a legal one.”

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